Author Topic: My coworkers like to help me spend my money  (Read 15605 times)

DocCyane

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My coworkers like to help me spend my money
« on: March 12, 2014, 06:35:52 AM »
I think we've all made it through Girl Scout cookie season at this point and I certainly didn't buy any from my coworkers' daughters, though the order sheets were plentiful.

The latest is that today we are having a baby shower for a gal in Accounting. I certainly support it and want to contribute, but it's grown out of hand.

First we are all required to chip in $15 for the purchase of a playpen. 50 people times $15 makes a $750 playpen. I have no children, but that seems ridiculous. I am concerned the money gatherer is pocketing this cash bonanza.

Then on top of it, we are having a potluck. When I saw the sign up sheet, folks had listed the usual cheese, salsa, a salad, soda... No actual food, as in a protein. Usually with company sponsored events, the company picks up the tab for the burgers and we brings the sides. This is not a company sponsored event. So I offered to bring some chicken, but $10 worth of chicken is not going to feed 50 people.

I'm $25 into this luncheon and have decided not to eat rather than take food away from those in the company who earn significantly less. Plus I'm half Italian and we have issues about holding events without enough food to feed the entire US Army.

I'm just ranting here. There is no question or solution sought, but while I certainly want to support my coworkers in these one-time events, I'm questioning the motives and the money handling.

Perhaps you have experienced the same thing? I know social events at work are important, but I could go broke with every fundraiser, birthday, special activity.

4alpacas

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Re: My coworkers like to help me spend my money
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2014, 11:28:00 AM »
You're so strong!  I caved and bought a box.  SO good. 

I think we've all made it through Girl Scout cookie season at this point and I certainly didn't buy any from my coworkers' daughters, though the order sheets were plentiful.

The latest is that today we are having a baby shower for a gal in Accounting. I certainly support it and want to contribute, but it's grown out of hand.

First we are all required to chip in $15 for the purchase of a playpen. 50 people times $15 makes a $750 playpen. I have no children, but that seems ridiculous. I am concerned the money gatherer is pocketing this cash bonanza.

Then on top of it, we are having a potluck. When I saw the sign up sheet, folks had listed the usual cheese, salsa, a salad, soda... No actual food, as in a protein. Usually with company sponsored events, the company picks up the tab for the burgers and we brings the sides. This is not a company sponsored event. So I offered to bring some chicken, but $10 worth of chicken is not going to feed 50 people.

I'm $25 into this luncheon and have decided not to eat rather than take food away from those in the company who earn significantly less. Plus I'm half Italian and we have issues about holding events without enough food to feed the entire US Army.

I'm just ranting here. There is no question or solution sought, but while I certainly want to support my coworkers in these one-time events, I'm questioning the motives and the money handling.

Perhaps you have experienced the same thing? I know social events at work are important, but I could go broke with every fundraiser, birthday, special activity.


Workinghard

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Re: My coworkers like to help me spend my money
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2014, 01:18:54 PM »
I find the whole workplace mandatory (more or less) contributions annoying. My husband has to chip in around $250 for the year, and has potlucks, thanksgiving baskets, and the angel tree on top of that. If that was are only giving it would be different, but we give a lot.

Shor

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Re: My coworkers like to help me spend my money
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2014, 07:33:35 PM »
I find the whole workplace mandatory (more or less) contributions annoying. My husband has to chip in around $250 for the year, and has potlucks, thanksgiving baskets, and the angel tree on top of that. If that was are only giving it would be different, but we give a lot.

I bring a box of cookies... and then eat my weight in gold....err.. food. Food is gold! Omnomnom!
Yeah, the holiday seasons are not conducive with my waistline.. :(

Workinghard

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Re: My coworkers like to help me spend my money
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2014, 03:15:37 AM »
I find the whole workplace mandatory (more or less) contributions annoying. My husband has to chip in around $250 for the year, and has potlucks, thanksgiving baskets, and the angel tree on top of that. If that was are only giving it would be different, but we give a lot.

I bring a box of cookies... and then eat my weight in gold....err.. food. Food is gold! Omnomnom!
Yeah, the holiday seasons are not conducive with my waistline.. :(

At least you have a waistline! My husband usually takes a couple of bags of chips in--the cheap, on-sale kind.

Truckman

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Re: My coworkers like to help me spend my money
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2014, 05:17:43 AM »
Being on 24 hour shifts, we cook breakfast, lunch, and dinner at work. Now, cooking at work is much cheaper than going out for every meal, by far. But still, it's costing me $10-$12/shift. I don't want to opt out because of the whole family-feel/camaraderie thing, and I'd feel really awkward sitting down with my own food at the same time everyone else is eating what was cooked. "What, not good enough for you?"  I do bring in my own lunch usually, though, so I can cut it back to $7/shift.  At 9 shifts/month, I'm probably about $75/month just eating at work.

Fortunately we don't get the standard office-cubicle style fundraisers from the kids, or birthdays/anniversaries, etc...

huadpe

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Re: My coworkers like to help me spend my money
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2014, 02:05:32 PM »
Being on 24 hour shifts, we cook breakfast, lunch, and dinner at work. Now, cooking at work is much cheaper than going out for every meal, by far. But still, it's costing me $10-$12/shift. I don't want to opt out because of the whole family-feel/camaraderie thing, and I'd feel really awkward sitting down with my own food at the same time everyone else is eating what was cooked. "What, not good enough for you?"  I do bring in my own lunch usually, though, so I can cut it back to $7/shift.  At 9 shifts/month, I'm probably about $75/month just eating at work.

Fortunately we don't get the standard office-cubicle style fundraisers from the kids, or birthdays/anniversaries, etc...

Honestly, while you can cut that down a little, that sounds like about $4/person/meal, which for feeding a group of hungry firefighters seems reasonable.

CommonCents

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Re: My coworkers like to help me spend my money
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2014, 02:53:22 PM »
First, not all 50 people will participate (so there's no way she's collecting $750).  Also, not all contribute at the suggested level.
Next, the organizers will usually use the extra money to:
1) Buy more gifts
2) Buy a card ($4) or in the case of my office, they always seem to get two
3) Buy gift wrap
4) Buy decorations
5) Buy food to supplement the potluck

I'd be very surprised if the organizer is pocketing money.  Usually they contribute extra to cover costs. 

Regarding the lack of protein, next time I suggest you: 1) buddy up with a friend to together bring protein, 2) bring a cheaper protein (I brought hummus and veggies to the party to celebrate a coworkers wedding on Tuesday), or 3) don't worry about it and let someone else provide it (they always do), or skip it for one meal.  Finally, you can even make this work for you, because usually there is extra food left over after a potluck and if you wrap/save the leftovers you can get another meal or two out of it (that's what I did yesterday from the party).

But yeah, I do find the constant required donations or purchases annoying.  I got married two months in to the job and no one threw a party for me, yet I've shelled a lot out for retirements, showers, and other parties in the past few years.

oldtoyota

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Re: My coworkers like to help me spend my money
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2014, 03:18:53 PM »
Luckily, I've not worked at a place that voluntold me to give money to people for special events. One time, I did. My colleague did not invite me to her wedding, yet she made sure I knew about her at-work baby shower. I bought her a present from her registry and never even got a thank-you note.

crumbcatcher

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Re: My coworkers like to help me spend my money
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2014, 05:36:45 PM »
I agree that this can get annoying. Some people at my office have gotten what I think is a neat idea: they let everyone know that they are collecting funds for xyz event, and that they have an envelope on their desk for anyone who would like to contribute.  No need to give a certain amount and it can be done anonymously.

Sure, it's debatable whether it's a good idea to tell everyone you have an envelope full of cash on your desk but so far no issues.  I like having the ability to give more or less (or nothing) depending on the event and how much it means to me without getting the stink-eye for not hopping on the bandwagon.

lexie2000

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Re: My coworkers like to help me spend my money
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2014, 08:22:20 PM »
This happened all the time when DH worked.  He either needed to contribute cash, bring a dish for a pot luck, was asked to buy candles cuz a co-worker was having a catalog candle party, etc.  Most of it we didn't mind; well I thought being "expected" to buy candles was a little much, but he's a "nice guy" so we bought some tea light candles (the cheapest thing I could find in the catalog).


katie

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Re: My coworkers like to help me spend my money
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2014, 09:41:29 PM »
As someone with 2 kids under 2 with two pack and plays, I assure you, they cost less than $200 easily.  You can even get them for under $100.  I hope they are giving her a lot of gifts for that amount of money.  We have a lot of "pitch-ins" at work and I usually will do $2-3 for my contribution.  It might seem cheap, but I see it as if all 75 people or so contributed the same amount, it is a really nice gift. And considering the person is my coworker, who I am usually not close to, I see this as a fair compromise. 

countdown

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Re: My coworkers like to help me spend my money
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2014, 10:10:37 PM »
Yup. Bdays, weddings, babies, kids' high school grad, coworker or kids' college grad, deaths, holiday parties, etc. My personal least fave are the charity drives. One in the spring involves purchasing flowers and having them delivered at work so everyone knows who cares about curing x and who is an insensitive jerk. Sigh.

MooseOutFront

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Re: My coworkers like to help me spend my money
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2014, 11:22:26 PM »
I seem to make it through these landmines by only having to lay down a couple $20's per year.  Normally that's just on baby showers.  This year a bunch of people are pregnant but only one of them is having their 1st baby, so there goes a $20.  My wife is up 2nd, but it's our 2nd kid so hopefully if I decline publically enough with the "no shower for #2" reasoning then the next up will not be tempted to have a shower at work for his 3rd kid.

SwordGuy

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Re: My coworkers like to help me spend my money
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2014, 09:38:28 AM »
First we are all required to chip in $15 for the purchase of a playpen. 50 people times $15 makes a $750 playpen.

My comment when folks start up this nonsense:

"If they can't afford to raise children without my financial assistance, they shouldn't be having any."

Same opinion on marriage.   

As for the "required", where does it say that in the employee handbook?


carloco

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Re: My coworkers like to help me spend my money
« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2014, 09:47:10 AM »
Being on 24 hour shifts, we cook breakfast, lunch, and dinner at work. Now, cooking at work is much cheaper than going out for every meal, by far. But still, it's costing me $10-$12/shift. I don't want to opt out because of the whole family-feel/camaraderie thing, and I'd feel really awkward sitting down with my own food at the same time everyone else is eating what was cooked. "What, not good enough for you?"  I do bring in my own lunch usually, though, so I can cut it back to $7/shift.  At 9 shifts/month, I'm probably about $75/month just eating at work.

Fortunately we don't get the standard office-cubicle style fundraisers from the kids, or birthdays/anniversaries, etc...

Wow, 10-12 bucks per day?  before I opted out of shift meals I always thought about the leftovers that were sitting in my home fridge.  Then, I went vegetarian and just started bringing in my meals.  I seat at the table with everyone but have my own thing.  I think, it helped others in the shift with their meal choices. 
I usually opt in for breakfast on weekends, but still, I hated they were cooking 2 pounds of Bacon for 4 people. 

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Re: My coworkers like to help me spend my money
« Reply #16 on: March 14, 2014, 09:47:28 AM »
We (luckily) don't have to contribute a lot for festivities at work. We don't do birthdaypresents, and if someone gets married or has a kid, the department pays for a present. Even the Friday-afternoon drinks which we have once a month are paid for!

mariarose

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Re: My coworkers like to help me spend my money
« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2014, 06:31:31 AM »
I think we've all made it through Girl Scout cookie season at this point and I certainly didn't buy any from my coworkers' daughters, though the order sheets were plentiful.

The latest is that today we are having a baby shower for a gal in Accounting. I certainly support it and want to contribute, but it's grown out of hand.


GS set up a table right in front of my work (Small Box Store). They bugged people going in and out of the store.  Repeatedly they asked me (clearly in my uniform and working) "Will you buy our Cookies?"  What I wanted to say.... I work here, I make minimum wage, you can see I can not avoid you.  Be polite, don't ask the workers"  What I REALLY wanted to say, "NO, GET AWAY FROM ME YOU FUCKING PANHANDLERS!"  What I really, REALLY wanted to say, "Not unless they are made from REAL Girl Scouts, are you in the next batch of cookies?  I will buy that batch!"  What I contented myself with saying, "NO"  Quiet, but sharp, and with a glare.

Seriously, can the parents who were with them not see how inapropriate asking those of us who clearly could not avoid them was?

About the shower, only give what you want to give.  If that is only $3.00, then give that.  And Baked Beans made in a crockpot is a cheap source of protein, and quite acceptable party fare.  My feeling is, only actual friends and family are on the hook.  If you are one, or would like to be one, that is fine and dandy.  But you are not on the hook for someone who HAPPENED to get hired at the same place as you, and HAPPENED to become inseminated during this particular work period of her life.

You are a really nice, and intelligent person.  I know you will do what you think is right and fits with your heritage (funny point about the food for an army, I laughed).  No one who understands you will think less of you for this.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2014, 06:35:25 AM by mariarose »

MrsPete

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Re: My coworkers like to help me spend my money
« Reply #18 on: March 31, 2014, 05:38:53 AM »
This stuff can only happen to the level that you allow it: 

- People can offer you Girl Scout cookies or chocolate or wrapping paper, but you're free to say, "NO", each and every time.  Lots of people really do want to buy this stuff, and that's not your business or mine.  In my mind, the only "rule" is that if you never buy from others, you shouldn't bring your own kids' fundraisers in to work yourself. 

- I don't mind chipping in on a group gift IF it's a friend.  If it's someone I barely know on the other side of the building, I'm likely not to attend the get-together at all.  $15 isn't bad, considering you don't have to shop and wrap the gift -- and a playpen is something pretty substantial that she will use with this baby and future babies; I'd prefer to contribute to that than to buy a little dress that'll be worn once and then passed on to her cousins.  At my office, people are fair and transparent about this stuff:  If we all agree to buy a playpen, and the person who makes the purchase realizes she has $20 left over, she'll pick up a gift card or a couple packs of diapers with the excess . . . and will explain the transaction to the rest of us.  I've personally never felt fleeced over this type of thing. 

kyleaaa

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Re: My coworkers like to help me spend my money
« Reply #19 on: March 31, 2014, 08:30:09 AM »
Am I the only one who thinks Girl Scout cookies just aren't any good?

NumberJohnny5

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Re: My coworkers like to help me spend my money
« Reply #20 on: March 31, 2014, 08:31:46 AM »
Am I the only one who thinks Girl Scout cookies just aren't any good?

Yes.

iwasjustwondering

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Re: My coworkers like to help me spend my money
« Reply #21 on: March 31, 2014, 10:34:56 AM »
Cheapest, most awesome protein idea ever: deviled eggs.  Cost is for a dozen eggs, a little mayo, mustard, a splash of pickle juice, and you have something super cheap that people freaking devour.

I was dead broke in college, and my French class was having a potluck lecture/snacks get-together.  People brought fancy cheese, grapes, crackers, French bread.  I had a couple of bucks, so I bought a dozen eggs and made deviled eggs.  They were insanely popular.  The lecturer actually stopped his lecture a couple of times to take another one!  LOL.  The other students had spent at least $10 bucks apiece. 

rocksinmyhead

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Re: My coworkers like to help me spend my money
« Reply #22 on: March 31, 2014, 11:05:07 AM »
Cheapest, most awesome protein idea ever: deviled eggs.  Cost is for a dozen eggs, a little mayo, mustard, a splash of pickle juice, and you have something super cheap that people freaking devour.

I was dead broke in college, and my French class was having a potluck lecture/snacks get-together.  People brought fancy cheese, grapes, crackers, French bread.  I had a couple of bucks, so I bought a dozen eggs and made deviled eggs.  They were insanely popular.  The lecturer actually stopped his lecture a couple of times to take another one!  LOL.  The other students had spent at least $10 bucks apiece.

you know, deviled eggs are one of my favorite appetizers to bring anywhere just because they are fucking delicious (and they impress people/are sort of a "special treat," just because of the extra labor), but I never really thought about the fact that they are also cheap as hell. genius! thanks for making me love one of my favorite foods even more! :)

Tempe

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Re: My coworkers like to help me spend my money
« Reply #23 on: March 31, 2014, 11:43:58 AM »
Cheapest, most awesome protein idea ever: deviled eggs.  Cost is for a dozen eggs, a little mayo, mustard, a splash of pickle juice, and you have something super cheap that people freaking devour.

I was dead broke in college, and my French class was having a potluck lecture/snacks get-together.  People brought fancy cheese, grapes, crackers, French bread.  I had a couple of bucks, so I bought a dozen eggs and made deviled eggs.  They were insanely popular.  The lecturer actually stopped his lecture a couple of times to take another one!  LOL.  The other students had spent at least $10 bucks apiece.

you know, deviled eggs are one of my favorite appetizers to bring anywhere just because they are fucking delicious (and they impress people/are sort of a "special treat," just because of the extra labor), but I never really thought about the fact that they are also cheap as hell. genius! thanks for making me love one of my favorite foods even more! :)
Deviled eggs and ham wrapped pickles with cream cheese were two huge favourites of my family. They were usually gone within minutes.

iwasjustwondering

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Re: My coworkers like to help me spend my money
« Reply #24 on: March 31, 2014, 11:57:46 AM »
Cheapest, most awesome protein idea ever: deviled eggs.  Cost is for a dozen eggs, a little mayo, mustard, a splash of pickle juice, and you have something super cheap that people freaking devour.

I was dead broke in college, and my French class was having a potluck lecture/snacks get-together.  People brought fancy cheese, grapes, crackers, French bread.  I had a couple of bucks, so I bought a dozen eggs and made deviled eggs.  They were insanely popular.  The lecturer actually stopped his lecture a couple of times to take another one!  LOL.  The other students had spent at least $10 bucks apiece.

you know, deviled eggs are one of my favorite appetizers to bring anywhere just because they are fucking delicious (and they impress people/are sort of a "special treat," just because of the extra labor), but I never really thought about the fact that they are also cheap as hell. genius! thanks for making me love one of my favorite foods even more! :)

:)  It was a real mustachian lightbulb moment for me.  I was ashamed of my deviled eggs.  They were so homey compared to what I perceived as the sophisticated foods other kids were bringing.  I was there on a scholarship, and already felt incredibly poor compared to the other kids.   Everyone else brought a brie, a baguette, and a few grapes, food I couldn't have bought (I didn't have a car, anyway, so I had to make do with what they had at the local 7-11).  But people ate them up.  The lecturer, who was talking about the linguistics of Canadian and French French, was raving about them.  He asked me for the recipe.  They went like hotcakes.

greenmimama

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Re: My coworkers like to help me spend my money
« Reply #25 on: March 31, 2014, 12:47:28 PM »
I find group gifts at work really rude.

When I started working at the salon, that first Xmas, the coworker told me I was to give $15 for our boss and another for our receptionist, at this time in my life that was more than I spent on my dad, I thought it was so weird and rude but I was too shy to turn them down.

When I was in charge of it, I sent an anon. envelope around telling everyone to put in what they wanted, it was still a generous amount. But there wasn't the pressure.

When my boss had a baby, they too did a collection for a pack n Play, I told them I already got her a gift, and then at the shower, they gave her the Pack n play and everyone brought another gift, I felt sort of stupid, the funny part is, when we brought our baby home a few years later, she gave me that Pack n Play :)

payitoff

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Re: My coworkers like to help me spend my money
« Reply #26 on: March 31, 2014, 01:43:02 PM »
People here were collecting money to buy the Boss a Louis Vuitton.  i just jokingly replied, ill only contribute if youll do the same for me :)   

glad it wasnt mandatory.

iwasjustwondering

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Re: My coworkers like to help me spend my money
« Reply #27 on: March 31, 2014, 02:43:03 PM »
I had a boss who would take me out for $50 sushi lunches, and then later informed me that she was paying for them herself.  I thought they were business lunches (and that she was gross for spending so much of the company's money on lunch for two, but oh well).  So then, she strongly hinted that I should take her out for lunch. So there I was, making $36,000 a year, buying my boss these extravagant lunches.  What a Fing idiot she was. Ugh.  When her birthday came around, some of her favorite toadies were pressuring the rest of us to pay $100 APIECE for jewelry for her.  Good Lord.  I was too young to know I could say no.

Stacheintraining

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Re: My coworkers like to help me spend my money
« Reply #28 on: March 31, 2014, 04:25:10 PM »
Plus I'm half Italian and we have issues about holding events without enough food to feed the entire US Army.

I can totally relate  to this... My grandma has a Christmas eve party every year and I always say she makes enough of everything that if every single person decided to only eat the same single thing there would still be leftovers of it.

RetiredAt63

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Re: My coworkers like to help me spend my money
« Reply #29 on: March 31, 2014, 05:16:33 PM »
Recipe please?

And just curious, but where were you  studying that you were comparing Canadian French and French French?  I grew up in Quebec, and my high school French was supposedly "Parisian", to the extent that I could not understand any French I overheard on the bus  ;-(

Once I left Quebec I had to watch my English, I had such an odd Franglais vocabulary that if I wasn't careful people had no idea what I was talking about.  And of course we used to make bilingual jokes - like the Montrealer who took the BMW to work (that is Bus, Metro, Walk).

Cheapest, most awesome protein idea ever: deviled eggs.  Cost is for a dozen eggs, a little mayo, mustard, a splash of pickle juice, and you have something super cheap that people freaking devour.

I was dead broke in college, and my French class was having a potluck lecture/snacks get-together.  People brought fancy cheese, grapes, crackers, French bread.  I had a couple of bucks, so I bought a dozen eggs and made deviled eggs.  They were insanely popular.  The lecturer actually stopped his lecture a couple of times to take another one!  LOL.  The other students had spent at least $10 bucks apiece.

:)  It was a real mustachian lightbulb moment for me.  I was ashamed of my deviled eggs.  They were so homey compared to what I perceived as the sophisticated foods other kids were bringing.  I was there on a scholarship, and already felt incredibly poor compared to the other kids.   Everyone else brought a brie, a baguette, and a few grapes, food I couldn't have bought (I didn't have a car, anyway, so I had to make do with what they had at the local 7-11).  But people ate them up.  The lecturer, who was talking about the linguistics of Canadian and French French, was raving about them.  He asked me for the recipe.  They went like hotcakes.

iwasjustwondering

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Re: My coworkers like to help me spend my money
« Reply #30 on: March 31, 2014, 07:04:52 PM »
It was a French linguistics class.  It was a grad school class, but I was taking it as a senior in college.  It was in the U.S..

Oh, and I don't really do recipes per se.  Just hard-boil some eggs.  Peel, set aside to cool, but not completely.  Cut in half, lengthwise, with a sharp knife (a dull knife will ruin the whole thing).  Carefully scoop out the yolks, and put into a bowl.  Add salt, pepper, a little mayo and a little less mustard (brown mustard is best -- you don't want something harsh like Coleman's).  You might want to add some onion powder, but sparingly.  Add a splash of pickle juice from a jar of pickles.  Add the liquid ingredients bit by bit, because if you go too far, you can't turn back.  You'll want to end up with a creamy consistency.  Then just scoop the mixture back into the empty egg whites (you didn't throw away the egg whites, did you?  Oh dear.)  If you want to get fancy you could use a pastry bag for the refilling process.

Garnish each with a dash of paprika or a thin slice of gherkin, if you like.  Et voila.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2014, 07:11:22 PM by iwasjustwondering »

MrsPete

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Re: My coworkers like to help me spend my money
« Reply #31 on: March 31, 2014, 07:33:53 PM »
Am I the only one who thinks Girl Scout cookies just aren't any good?
Yes. 

Cheapest, most awesome protein idea ever: deviled eggs.  Cost is for a dozen eggs, a little mayo, mustard, a splash of pickle juice, and you have something super cheap that people freaking devour.
Not long ago I had THE BEST deviled eggs EVER:  In addition to the typical recipe, they had just the tiniest little bit of -- was it country ham or bacon?  I forget.  I'm talking about super-fine chopped meat and only a touch of it.  It was stirred into the yolk mixture, not sprinkled on top.  WOW.

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Re: My coworkers like to help me spend my money
« Reply #32 on: March 31, 2014, 10:29:27 PM »
When my spreadsheet for expense tracking was all set up a few years ago, one of the first things that shocked me was how much I was spending on gifts in general, but especially on gifts for people I barely knew and didn't really care about.  Social obligation was bleeding me dry.

I had a boss once who would "take us out" by requiring periodic group lunches at the restaurant of her choice, but really it was all dutch.  She would then tell people she had "taken her group out" for Christmas or to celebrate some other thing.  Ugh!  Glad to have moved on from that.

I have worked at two places where soliciting co-workers for charities and other fund raisers was formally banned explicitly in the employee handbook.  It still happened, of course, but people had to be really sneaky in asking and it was easy to just say no and move along if I didn't want an $8 roll of wrapping paper or the world's most gigantic tin of stale popcorn.  We had several undercover Avon/candle/basket ladies, but they all knew they had to keep a low profile to keep their jobs.  The funniest was the Amway guy.  Oy, I listened to waaay too much of his sales pitches.  I was a broke student, though, so mostly I think he was just practicing his spiel on me rather than expecting me to really buy any hot chocolate.

nikki

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Re: My coworkers like to help me spend my money
« Reply #33 on: March 31, 2014, 10:39:06 PM »
I think we've all made it through Girl Scout cookie season at this point and I certainly didn't buy any from my coworkers' daughters, though the order sheets were plentiful.

The latest is that today we are having a baby shower for a gal in Accounting. I certainly support it and want to contribute, but it's grown out of hand.


GS set up a table right in front of my work (Small Box Store). They bugged people going in and out of the store.  Repeatedly they asked me (clearly in my uniform and working) "Will you buy our Cookies?"  What I wanted to say.... I work here, I make minimum wage, you can see I can not avoid you.  Be polite, don't ask the workers"  What I REALLY wanted to say, "NO, GET AWAY FROM ME YOU FUCKING PANHANDLERS!"  What I really, REALLY wanted to say, "Not unless they are made from REAL Girl Scouts, are you in the next batch of cookies?  I will buy that batch!"  What I contented myself with saying, "NO"  Quiet, but sharp, and with a glare.

Seriously, can the parents who were with them not see how inapropriate asking those of us who clearly could not avoid them was?

Bahahaha! I like what you really, REALLY wanted to say most of all. ;-D

Ayanka

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Re: My coworkers like to help me spend my money
« Reply #34 on: April 01, 2014, 03:45:09 AM »
I know it is nothing compared to you, but last week they did 2 collections. The first for the guy who got twins (perfectly ok, if you ask me, just don't like the guy). The second was for a guy that turns 30. We are with approximately 30? people in the lab, if we have to do a collection for every birthday (or even everyone getting X0) that is gonna get costly. Little background: a week before someone was fired due to lack of work... I got away with just ignoring both because I worked the night shift and tend not to read mails too much during that. Luckily in Europe it is not accepted to be pushy around it unless it are close colleagues.

mgarl10024

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Re: My coworkers like to help me spend my money
« Reply #35 on: April 01, 2014, 03:45:35 AM »
I used to work at a smallish company (30ish people), and the directors were very keen that the company registered and participated in a particular sporting challenge event as it was good for promotion and networking.  The problem was around a £1500 (~$2500) fee. 

Rather than the company that would benefit from this fee paying for it, they would hold lots of fundraising activities.  So we had sponsored this, sponsored that, employee barbeques (where you'd buy burgers etc), lunches (where you'd buy sandwiches etc), and on and on.  These events were all organised by certain employees who were keen to get (and got) the admiration of the directors.

One colleague refused to join in and eventually one of the senior employees said to him "we've noticed that you've not been contributing" to which he responded that he felt it was more the place of the company to pay for the sporting challenge event fee as it was the company getting all the benefit.  Sarcastically he remarked that "as all the fund raising events are aimed just at the employees, wouldn't it be easier if we just all paid £50 each (£1500 fee / 30 employees) and saved the hassle of all the fundraising?".  Apparently, he wasn't a "team player".  :-D

rocksinmyhead

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Re: My coworkers like to help me spend my money
« Reply #36 on: April 01, 2014, 06:24:05 AM »
If you want to get fancy you could use a pastry bag for the refilling process.

or a ziploc bag with the corner cut off!

Not long ago I had THE BEST deviled eggs EVER:  In addition to the typical recipe, they had just the tiniest little bit of -- was it country ham or bacon?  I forget.  I'm talking about super-fine chopped meat and only a touch of it.  It was stirred into the yolk mixture, not sprinkled on top.  WOW.

that sounds amazing!!! I like pimientos in mine.

happy

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Re: My coworkers like to help me spend my money
« Reply #37 on: April 01, 2014, 06:37:26 AM »
Quote
Sarcastically he remarked that "as all the fund raising events are aimed just at the employees, wouldn't it be easier if we just all paid £50 each (£1500 fee / 30 employees) and saved the hassle of all the fundraising?".  Apparently, he wasn't a "team player".  :-D

Ah yes, I've had that one: school fete. Inordinate effort and expense to create items to sell i.e. "donated" by the parents. Often selling for less than "cost".  Outcome $11,000 profit. I suggested since there were about 120 - 150 families in the school "why don't we just all write a cheque for $100" and skip the fete. And that was the response I got "its not about raining money its about building community, you're not being a team player".

To be honest I'm not plagued much by these additional costs anymore, but that has come at a price of being a bit "antisocial". I exchange pleasantries but basically I drink coffee and eat lunch in my office doing emails… without making it too obvious I don't really"fraternise" beyond my immediate team and therefore mostly manoeuvre around such matters. But if you like to be more involved in the social side of work I think its really hard not to get dragged in.

hybrid

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Re: My coworkers like to help me spend my money
« Reply #38 on: April 01, 2014, 01:38:53 PM »
Oh gosh, at the risk of some serious facepunching, I am going to dissent here with a few caveats. First, every office has a different culture. Second, mine doesn't ask all that much. Third, my office tends to give some pretty generous perks over the course of the year (like bagels and donuts every Friday, an office picnic at a nearby Busch Gardens once a year, the occasional meal, etc.).

There is a guy in our office who never brings anything, never donates anything, etc. He partakes, but he never gives back when it comes to baby showers and all that. In short, he's just plain cheap. There is a line between cheap and frugal, and I happen to be on the side of that line that says the occasional office party or girl scout cookie sheet just isn't a big deal in the grand scheme, and it builds up a sense of camaraderie. I won't speak to the OPs situation, it may be very different from mine and lines may be crossed in her department I would also rail against. I just know that when I read it, I had that guy in mind....

Everyone loves the Office Hero that shows up with food out of the blue every once in a while. Better to be that person than grouse about having to pitch in for a baby shower that feels compulsory. It pays for itself many times over.

happy

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Re: My coworkers like to help me spend my money
« Reply #39 on: April 01, 2014, 02:07:38 PM »
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occasional

This is the key word. I partake occasionally if its meaningful. I guess some workplaces are at it all the time.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: My coworkers like to help me spend my money
« Reply #40 on: April 01, 2014, 05:27:59 PM »
Am I the only one who thinks Girl Scout cookies just aren't any good?

Manufactured cookies are all gross.

Kaspian

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Re: My coworkers like to help me spend my money
« Reply #41 on: April 02, 2014, 11:42:10 AM »
My group at work has started doing this as well.  There's about 15 people in the team.  Now it's $20/each donations every time a parent dies, a baby is born, somebody retires, or somebody has to spend a few days in the hospital.  (That last one seems to be a new donation scenario.) With 15 people you can imagine how often this $20 grabbing is happening.  $300 gifts and donations from the team?  Seriously?! 

I try to brush this off as an expense of having a "good job".  ...Just like the few times a year I have to travel to another city to have team meetings and after-work beers with the boss.  Sure, the accommodations are covered by work, but the beer is not.  ...And I don't really enjoy myself.  I have to tell myself, "You play, you pay."  I reap the benefits of the office paycheck so have to suffer at least a few of its banalities.

hybrid

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Re: My coworkers like to help me spend my money
« Reply #42 on: April 02, 2014, 12:50:05 PM »
My group at work has started doing this as well.  There's about 15 people in the team.  Now it's $20/each donations every time a parent dies, a baby is born, somebody retires, or somebody has to spend a few days in the hospital.  (That last one seems to be a new donation scenario.) With 15 people you can imagine how often this $20 grabbing is happening.  $300 gifts and donations from the team?  Seriously?! 

I try to brush this off as an expense of having a "good job".  ...Just like the few times a year I have to travel to another city to have team meetings and after-work beers with the boss.  Sure, the accommodations are covered by work, but the beer is not.  ...And I don't really enjoy myself.  I have to tell myself, "You play, you pay."  I reap the benefits of the office paycheck so have to suffer at least a few of its banalities.

We have a similar thing at work, but it is only a whopping $2 a month and it goes to things like a get well basket when someone is out for surgery, or flowers for a relative that passed. Most folks really seem to appreciate it when they are on the receiving end. Sounds like your office took it up several notches, however. I don't sweat $24. If it were more like $200?  Hmmmmm......

A coworker griped about contributing to "the kitty" (our term for it) once and I pointed out that if you never benefited from it, nothing bad has happened to you. Count your blessings. When I blew my Achilles tendon I collected for the first time in eight years and wish I hadn't!  ;-)